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Kaneko's story - Chapter 3 Building a Happy Home

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A young man filled with aspirations and a young woman who cheers him on- what kind of home will the couple create?

The Ikeda household was, in a sense, a workplace where people continually gathered. Mrs Ikeda saw her role as a wife as follows: "I felt that the most important task I could perform for my husband was to support him quietly from the back ground so that he could devote himself to his work wholeheartly and in good health. This became the focus of my life.

Kaneko gave birth to her first son, Hiromasa, her second son Shirohisa and her third son Takahiro. She become mother of three boys.

Mr Toda believed Daisaku would be better off having someone to llok after his health. It also meant Daisaku could more freely devote himself to his work.

Our first child was born, Daisaku was in Fuji-nomiya in Shizuoka, holding a Soka Gakkai event. Our son was born on the day of the event. My husband was delighted. News of birth had already reach Mr Toda and he composed a poem and sent it to me.

The poem, which Mr Toda wrote on a folding fan, read: " A spring moon/Shares my delight/At the birth of your child." My husband told me that the poem was written on the fan that Mr Toda had been using at the ceremony.

When he was around one or two, Hiromasa learned how to put records on the phonograph. I worried that he would scratch the records and ruin them, so I hid them under the desk. It never occurred to me that the hiding place I chose was right at child's eye level, completely visible to him.

He would easily slip under the desk to get them. I had to be amused. We are often encouraged to view things through the eyes of a child and convinced me of the wisdom of advice.

One day my husband told me he would buy me some clothes when we were at a store near Omori Station. This was the first time he had ever said anything like this. He was saying, "lets get this, this, this, this and this one, too," all the while picking out blouses.

I preferred to shop a little more discriminatingly. Besides, I knew how much money he had in his wallet, so I told him, "Just one will be fine."

He looked up at me and said, " You dont seem very happy at all!" Kaneko laughs

The first rule to management houehold is to value things and never waste them.

I was always concerned that my husband ws so exhausted. In fact, that was an indication of ow poor his health was at the time. In the winter, he would break out in night sweats and in the mornings, his face would be bright red.

Often, when he was returning from Osaka on the night train, he would arrive in Tokyo in the morning and then go directly to the Soka Gakkai HQ. Of course I was worried about him, althoug it was difficult with small children, I would take them with me to meet his train at Tokyo Station and give him a change of clothes.

I percieved my mission in life to be taking care of my husband's health. I can hardly believe how healthy e seems these days compared to back then. For me, my husband's good health is my greatest happiness.

Eiko Akiyama SGI General women's leader, said this:

Mr Ikeda seemed so well organized and dignified. The frugality of his home life posed a striking contrast to my first impressions.

His wife was so kind and charming. She impressed me as truly wonderful wife. One day when I came to vist, Mrs Ikeda was wearing a kimono. Mr Ikeda asked me: 'Dont you think she looks nice in a kimono? How much do you think it cost?' Then he told me that the material was synthetic and added, 'She's good at stretching her budget.'

When I would come to visit, Mr Ikeda would tell his wife. 'Please bring something to eat. I'm sure she's hungry.' In those days, food was scarce. I remember once she brought out some slightly green tomatoes. Mr Ikeda teased her gently, saying, 'I've always told you that we should be prepared when youth division members come over.' When she left the room, Mr Ikeda leaned toward me and whispered: 'We dont' have anything. Nothing. If we did, she would bring it all out.' That brought lump to my throat."

An essay titled "Big Three Summit" with your sons as its theme.
My eldest son was a scholarly type, middle was overweight child nickname "Taiho" after a famous sumo wrestler. Youngest son was a mama's by nicknamed "Mini-tank"
The three boys would enjoy taking their bath together. They would raise a ruckus and broke the bottom of wooden bathtub. My husband observed in his essay tey must have needed to live up to their reputation as "Sons of the Sea"

When my husband is ome, we chant as a family, when he is away, I take the lead. From watching my husband chanting, I learned alot and know the value of morning and evening prayers. At the same time, If I had been overly strict about it, the children might have grown to dislike the practice. My husband says it all depends on the mother's faith.

To be continue..

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